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Age-Friendly News Clips – January 25-31

Periodically, the Healthy Aging Collaborative will share news articles from local efforts to make cities, towns and regions in Massachusetts Age- and Dementia Friendly.

Check out the following articles from late January on the momentum of this movement building across the state.


Age-Friendly Identified by Boston Globe as a Trend to Watch in 2018

As many publications do, the Boston Globe interviewed experts who could reveal some insight on what 2018 might bring for the business community regionally and nationally.

Alongside healthcare, technology and real estate predictions, the Globe story singled out the Age-Friendly Communities movement as a major trend to keep an eye on. The article makes note of how cities and towns from all across the state are taking part in the movement that focuses on improving quality of life and community livability for not only older adults, but people of all ages. Continue reading

National Poll on Healthy Aging Releases Report on Dementia Caregivers

With support from AARP, the University of Michigan launched the National Poll on Healthy Aging to help inform the public, health care providers, policymakers, and senior advocates on issues related to health, health care and health policy affecting Americans 50 years of age and older.

The project began in the Spring of 2017 and started issuing reports monthly on specific issues to highlight survey results, which are gathered multiple times throughout the year.

The latest of those reports focuses on Dementia caregivers and breaks down data on who caregivers are and their views on stress, whether their tasks are rewarding, and the health implications.

Here are some samples of the findings:

  • Nearly all of those surveyed (91%) felt that being a caregiver has made them think about their own potential needs for caregiving in the future.
  • One in four caregivers (27%) reported delaying or not doing things they should do for their health.
  • Overall, 27% of caregivers had used caregiving resources in the past year such as self-help resources, family therapy, classes or trainings, support groups, and/or respite care; 41% of those who had not used any caregiving resources indicated an interest in using them.

Join us for Falls Prevention Awareness Day at the State House, Sept. 19

The Massachusetts Falls Prevention Coalition is hosting the annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day at the State House on September 19th with resources, live demonstrations and speakers sharing prevention methods and best practices.

The program will kick off at 10:00 am at the Grand Staircase and Great Hall of the State House. This is the 11th year the event is taking place and is especially timely with a recent release of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention citing an increase in deaths resulting from unintentional falls for adults 65 and older by almost 5% per year. Continue reading

BBJ Viewpoint: New Approaches Needed to Address Workforce Challenges

An aging population means an aging workforce, but an Op-Ed in the Boston Business Journal explains how this is not so much a challenge as it is an economic benefit as well as a chance to reverse ageist attitudes.

Lydia Greene, SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer for Tufts Health Plan, responded to an article from August 10th in the BBJ titled “Gray matters: An aging workforce has Mass. companies scrambling to deal with ‘silver tsunami’.” Greene begins by addressing the fact that an aging population and workforce is “an opportunity, not a natural disaster.”

Greene then points out the business case for older workers and a call for Massachusetts to lead the way for taking advantage of the positives that older workers bring.

“As a region, we are known for ingenuity and resourcefulness,” Greene writes. “Let’s lead the way in establishing age-friendly business practices to help us meet the needs of all generations.”

Brandeis University Hosting Healthy Aging Conference

The Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (BOLLI) will host Adventures in Creative Retirement at Brandeis University on Sept. 9, 2017 with a focus on healthy aging and aging in community.

The all-day conference brings together dynamic thought leadership on issues facing a generation of Americans approaching retirement. Conference content will be grounded in research and evidence-based scholarship, offering participants different pathways for becoming engaged with three important themes within their lives: health and wellness, housing, and community. Continue reading

MeHI and Elder Affairs Seek Guidance on Advanced Care Planning Technology

The Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI’s) has announced a Request for Information for Sharing of Advanced Care Planning Documents (“RFI”) at this link: RFI for Sharing of ACP Documents.

MeHI is working in collaboration with other stakeholders, including the MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs and the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care (“the Coalition”), to examine architectures and technologies that can be used by providers to reliably share Advanced Care Planning (ACP) documents electronically – across systems and platforms – and to improve the ability of clinicians, emergency medical services, and other caregivers to quickly and reliably identify a patient’s wishes and care preferences.  Continue reading

Listening Sessions Announced for Governor’s Council to Address Aging in MA

Governor Charles D. Baker’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts will hold listening sessions to hear ideas about how to make the Commonwealth the most livable state for people of all ages. These sessions are a prime opportunity to shine a light on age-friendly and dementia friendly community efforts! Continue reading

MHAC Partners Receive Grant Funding to Advance Healthy Aging

The Cummings Foundation “100K for 100” Program has awarded two organizations working with the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative (MHAC) for different initiatives that will both advance healthy aging practices as well as age-friendly communities.

WalkBoston, an MHAC Executive Committee member, was awarded $100,000 to work with municipalities and local organizations to create safer pedestrian environments through training programs and empowering residents to be change agents for safe streets.

Bridges Together was also a recipient of the Cummings Foundation grant, which will help increase their work to establish inter-generational programming within communities that unite the young and old.

For more information on these awards, see WalkBoston’s announcement here and Bridges Together’s announcement here.